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NEWS
July 25, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy, Inquirer Staff Writer
For decades, irate prosecutors have pursued corruption in Philadelphia Traffic Court and won significant convictions - only to have ticket-fixing become standard practice once again. But this time around, even with Wednesday's mixed verdict in the latest Traffic Court trial, reform may be too advanced to stop. Of course, it helps that Traffic Court no longer exists. "The reforms have been implemented and are in practice as we speak," said Deputy District Attorney Laurie Malone, who oversees a new team of city prosecutors handling ticket cases.
NEWS
July 15, 2014 | BY REV. DR. ROBERT P. SHINE
THOUGH it may not have made national headlines, last week a Senate committee voted on a resolution that could have major ramifications for our democracy. From where I sit, our democracy could certainly use some support. It seems to me that it's getting harder and harder for real people to vote, and easier and easier for corporations to buy elections. One of the main offenders pushing us in this direction has been the Supreme Court. From their 2010 Citizens United decision, which opened the door to unlimited corporate political spending, to their Shelby ruling last year, which gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, to their McCutcheon decision in April, which said yes, the super-rich can put even more money directly into political campaigns, the Supreme Court's conservative majority doesn't exactly seem to be on the side of "We, the People.
NEWS
July 3, 2014
ISSUE | N.J. SUICIDE LAW Aging society need Regarding legalizing assisted suicide, a recent letter writer describes a difficult situation in which assisted suicide may be considered but may not be the proper action ("Think twice about dying in New Jersey," June 29). Unfortunately, for every example like that, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds, of terminally sick people in hospice care every day for whom there is no hope for recovery. It is these people (and their families)
NEWS
July 2, 2014 | CHRISTINE FLOWERS
THAT "THUD" you just heard was the sound of progressives, secularists and freebie-seekers thumping their foreheads in anguish. Or perhaps it was the rumble as millions of religious folk fell to their knees in gratitude that the Supreme Court had, for once in a blue moon, gotten the free-exercise clause of the First Amendment right. Or it possibly could have been the clamor of bricks from that imaginary Wall Between Church and State, crumbling to the ground in a felicitous heap.
BUSINESS
July 2, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Monday to a lawsuit by victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against the government of Saudi Arabia, alleging it indirectly financed al-Qaeda in the years before the hijackings. The justices declined to hear an appeal by the Saudi government of a lower-court ruling that the lawsuit could go forward. The high court also declined to hear a separate appeal by 9/11 victims of a lower-court decision preventing them from suing dozens of banks and individuals that allegedly provided financial assistance to the hijackers.
NEWS
June 28, 2014 | By Martha Woodall and Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writers
In what the Philadelphia teachers' union hailed as a major victory, the state Supreme Court said Thursday that it would not get involved in whether the School Reform Commission has the authority to bypass seniority and impose other work rule changes. In the spring, the commission asked the state's top court to declare that it had the power under the state takeover law to impose the changes, including disregarding seniority for teacher assignments, transfers, layoffs and recalls. The 11,000-member Philadelphia Federation of Teachers opposed the SRC's moves.
NEWS
June 27, 2014
Before lawmakers congratulate themselves on proposals to trim one of the most bloated legislatures in the nation, they need to scrap companion cuts slated for the state appellate courts. No question, there's room for spirited debate on the merits of shrinking the state House by 25 percent, from 203 to 153 members, and reducing the state Senate from 50 to 45 members. But the suggestion that the state's busiest appellate court could sacrifice four of its 15 judges, with another pair lopped off the state's seven-member Supreme Court, hasn't been tested.
BUSINESS
June 25, 2014 | By Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Television broadcasters' case against streaming company Aereo Inc. at the U.S. Supreme Court - a legal face-off that some say could disrupt the TV business - seems to be going down to the wire. The Supreme Court released three new opinions on Monday, leaving Aereo for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Monday, legal experts say. "These are not easy decisions," Neil Begley, the media and entertainment analyst with Moody's Investor Service, said Monday. "There is enormous potential precedent here.
NEWS
June 25, 2014 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dashed New Jersey's hopes to institute sports betting at Atlantic City casinos and the state's racetracks by upholding a federal ban that limits the activity to four states and denying the state's appeal of a lower court ruling. Last year, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia upheld a trial judge's ruling that sided with the four professional sports leagues - Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA, as well as the NCAA - and shot down New Jersey's attempt to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Alfred Lubrano, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Pennsylvania has more inmates convicted as juveniles for murder and sentenced to life without parole than any other place in the world. That distinction was reinforced Monday by a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The high court declined to hear an appeal by juvenile-justice advocates to revisit the sentences of those prisoners. "We are obviously disappointed," said Marsha Levick, deputy director and chief counsel of the Juvenile Law Center, a national, nonprofit, public-interest law firm for children, based in Center City.
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